Date: 24 August 2008
UNISON slams cuts in Edinburgh's childrens services
UNISON's Edinburgh Branch has slammed cuts in Edinburgh's childrens
services due to be presented to the Council's Education Children
and Families Committee on Tuesday 26 August.
"This will mean that the jobs of around 12 of the council's
most experienced children and families and child protection
staff will be cut, leaving key front-line workers unsupported
and local senior staff inundated with management duties", warned
Tom Connolly, Edinburgh UNISON Service Conditions Officer.
In a briefing for councillors at www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/councillorcfbrief.doc,
the union stresses that the cuts fly in the face recommendations
from previous inquiries.
"The council is saying they are only cutting 'managers' but
these are key front-line staff. The role of operational managers
in Social Work are more akin to a nursing or medical practitioner
model than a 'business management' model. They are hands-on
front line practitioners who are involved in critical practice
decisions on a daily basis. The need for that professional support
is clearly outlined in the external audit the council commissioned
in 2004", added Mr Connolly.
"The Caleb Ness report said that senior social workers should
be involved in all risk decisions. How can they do that if they
are overloaded with the work of the managers who have been deleted?"
The council plans to delete at least 10 'manager' posts. Five
of these are front-line team managers who are directly involved
in the most complex child protection work. The other posts are
managers who manage operations in sectors of the city. They
are all qualified social workers and directly involved in day
to day children and families work.
"Many of these staff carry some of the most complex cases.
It is astonsihing that the council is saying it wants to allocate
all the cases that are on waiting lists, and to do this it is
cutting staff. There is not one single alternative post being
put in place with the 'savings'. This is a plain straightforward
cut", added Mr Connolly.